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nostalgia: libc5 -> libc6 transition

I apologise for bringing up things of the past, but I am researching
and need your help. Back when I upgraded Bo to Hamm, it worked like
a charm. Ever since then, I have heard the "Debian was the only one
to handle the libc6 migration gracefully" many, many times.

Now, after researching quite a bit, it seems that the transition was
not so smooth after all. For instance, apparently X broke (which
I didn't notice as I wasn't using it), and third-party non-Debian
software didn't run anymore (due to -rpath pointing at the location
where the libc6 files had replaced the libc5 ones). I imagine that
if Hamm also provided updated X libraries, then the first problem
was easily fixed whereas the second could be worked around with
a hacked ld.so.

So is it true to say that Debian handled the transition nicely?

Also, along the same lines, I'd be interested to hear what about
Debian and the policy made the transition possible. Right now,
I have -rpath and SONAME-change-on-ABI-change noted, but both are
really lessons we learned from the libc6 transition, not something
that enabled it, right?

Looking forward to your input!

Please do not CC me when replying to lists; I read them!
 .''`.     martin f. krafft <madduck@debian.org>
: :'  :    proud Debian developer, admin, and user
`. `'`
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing a system
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